Over the holidays I posted a few of my creative projects from the last year on Instagram . Whenever I do this people ask me how I found the time.
So today let me share with you what I learned this past year about timing and time because I know it isn’t always easy. In fact, a busy schedule is what most people say is their biggest hurdle.
Creative Time happens when the timing is right
A few years back I’d often say, “I’d give anything to do that but …”.
Then one day I actually heard the words I kept repeating and realized if I really meant them, I’d be doing it. Not only that but I finally clued in that not following through was eroding my confidence in my ability to do whatever ‘it’ was. I was kidding myself. To be perfectly blunt, I was lying to myself.
After some thought I rearranged the words and asked myself this question instead, “What would I need to give to do that? Am I ready to make that trade?”
When I understood what was needed and the answer to the “trade” question was honestly “No, not right now” things changed.
That simple shift provided gave me the freedom to choose. At that moment in time, it wasn’t a priority yet, only a desire, I didn’t need to feel guilty because I knew I’d do it when the timing was right. At that point, it was enough to dabble (to keep my muse happy.)
Last spring, the answer changed to “Yes, I’m willing to make do what it takes”. Committing to my favorite creative activities became a priority…and we humans always find time for those things we see as priorities.
In addition, I’m not second-guessing my ability to maintain the commitment because I had stopped chipping away at my confidence. Getting honest with myself meant I also trusted myself.
Creative Time happens when it’s a priority
Another change in your self-talk I highly recommend is to stop saying “I don’t have time”. Your subconscious believes what you tell it so of course you don’t have time!
Try this instead: “It’s not a priority for me” followed by a personal check-in. “How does that feel? Is it true?”
It might not challenge you to say that dusting the house isn’t a priority (I know I’m okay with it!) but what about “I’m not going to make cupcakes for your class because it’s not a priority for me.”
It that makes you uncomfortable, that’s the whole idea. Restating the request reminds you that time is a choice and we give attention to those things that are important to us and the people we care about.
“I’m not going to do anything about my creative passion this week because it isn’t a priority for me.”
How did that feel?
So how do you find Creative Time in a busy schedule?
Here’s an easy one. Evaluate the time cost/benefit of postponing repetitive chores.
Here’s what I mean. If you don’t do the dishes right now, then after the next meal you’ll have twice as many to take care of.
However, if you don’t vacuum and dust tomorrow there won’t be more floors and surfaces to clean. Skip it for one day and you spend no more time the next. Use that time today for something more creative.
Give something up.
This is the ‘trade’ I talked about earlier. Turn off the TV or your social media accounts for 30 minutes. Turn off your phone. Stop surfing the internet and calling it ‘research’. Get up a half hour earlier. There are lots of ways to find an extra 30 minutes in a day that you can put into your creative priorities. And those small windows add up fast in productivity and satisfaction.
Stop trying to find time and make time. It’s as easy and as hard as that.